Nicholas Hoult is no stranger to excessive makeup. He's played a pale-skinned, lovelorn zombie in "Warm Bodies," a blue-furred Beast in the "X-Men" films, even a blonde, sun-kissed coed in "A Single Man." But with "Mad Max: Fury Road," Hoult learned a whole new aspect of appearance-altering makeup: Sometimes it can be quite tasty.
This is probably the loudest movie I've seen in a while.
It was kind of like that on set as well because there was all these big engines surrounding you. You're sitting in a tin can of a car and they'd start up these huge V8s or whatever and you'd be like, "Boom, here we go."
It also looked like it didn't necessarily smell very nice, that set.
Depends on what you appreciate to smell. The smell of, like, burning gasoline, dry desert — and for me glue and prosthetic makeup — is quite enjoyable. And flames and burning explosions. It's all quite visceral, adrenaline-pumping stuff.
To be fair, you character, Nux, doesn't have a lot of quiet moments.
No, I really don't. Normally I play characters that are quite reserved, quite quiet. In real life I'm pretty chilled and calm.
So how do you sort of get yourself worked up for something like this?
You know what? I went on a yoga retreat. (laughs) No, first of all it's about understanding the world that George [Miller] has created. George was great in the sense that he basically told me my character's life story from conception up until the moment you meet him in the film. So knowing these things, how would the character react? It's kind of a strange thing because it's counterintuitive to what I'd be like in most of those situations. So it’s like, all right, if I’m caught in a toxic dust storm in this car, trying to blow myself up and kill somebody and blah blah, I'd be absolutely terrified and probably ask if we can turn back and that I've changed my mind. But this character is so committed and also positive in the strangest of environments. It's so otherworldly to me.
You haven't experienced much like this in ordinary life?
Surprisingly, no. (laughs) The thing that makes it easy is that you have this makeup on and you have these costumes and you're surrounded by these vehicles and very vivid sets and you're on location with the dust and the sand and desert, and it kind of feels all very natural and real and you get swept along by the moment. And then it becomes kind of second nature.
You don’t get a lot of shirts in this movie either.
Running low on shirts, my character. I do get to wear the original Mad Max jacket at one point. I only have one boot for a lot of the film, so I’m running around all wonky. And then I’ve got this chain. At one point I’m chained to Tom, which is a nightmare for the rest of the film. It keeps getting tangled up in things and stuff.